Saturday, April 30, 2011

Rites of Spring

Green haze of leaves around the tree tops last weekend, this weekend forming actual baby leaves, after a Very Long and cold tapering off of winter. Is it any wonder that Pagan, Jewish, Muslim, and Christian peoples across the northern hemisphere have made the return of new vegetation a reason for celebration. Family, friends, and feasting--we made it through yet another dark season and Look, we're still here together to look forward to another year of possibilities.
Doug carves the ham.

I wrote this as I waited for the ferry to fill with friendly, happy people, carrying food. Even though it was spitting rain, we're used to it. Seagulls cawing, hoping for a dropped or thrown French fry. The Edmonds pier shifts as the boat bumps in, kids running, excited families. David and Brian are picking me up. I hope they have room for my rolling suitcase of wine and food. Strangers still talk to each other here, last weekend a woman from Lake Tahoe who hopes to find a job and a place for her mother in the town where she grew up. Another stone-loving woman on the beach last Tuesday from Canada. a couple doing the Beach Survey and hoping to fit their walk in between showers.

I was the oldest, at 64, at this dinner for 18: three brothers, their families, friends and several sets of orphan college students. Serene got home from an Ultimate Frisbee competition at 3 am and got up and made this amazing birthday cake for one of Thayer's British exchange student house mates. We had 8 college students with lots ahead.

Choices have been a big topic of discussion lately. I see 8 patients a day and many of them are coming up against their body's fragility and fallibility for the first time. No matter when it happens, 23 or 62, it always seems to come as a shock--makes me realized every day how important decisions on diet, exercise, and type of work are. With these recent years of economic uncertainty, many are starting second or third careers. I hear, "why didn't I listen to my parents and go to college?" as often as "I went to college and owe all this money and I still can't find a job."

When I was in high school in the Sixties, I tested well in a wide range of aptitudes, so there was no special direction. I love(d) art, but that was no career, as my father heard from his parents when he started school in the Depression. Females of my era basically had the choices of teacher, nurse, or secretary. My father, the doctor, offered me occupational therapy or social work. I dreamed actress or scientist.

Six years ago I tested high for civil engineer or editor, and I think I would have made a very good psychiatrist. At other times in my life there were choices about where to live, who to be with, how to spend my energy.

As it turned out, I have been well-served to be trained in a profession that will support me and my own home as a single woman into my older age. I've found a job and place to live that are comfortable, interesting, and safe--at least until the big earthquake.

I've made opportunities to work in theater, costuming, painting and sculpture, write and publish books, perform in front of students (online) and patients (in person).
Now I'm thinking that all my many possible paths--as long as I've followed my heart--would have led me to pretty much the same place I am now--How about you?

I am still in the painting frenzy, lining them up against the walls through the center of my home...I keep doing them purely to see what will come out next...Process, rather than Product...although if someone wants to buy...I'll be able to afford more canvases.

On my way home Sunday evening, the ferry sailed under a big, beautiful bright rainbow.



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